Food scraps will be used to fuel garbage trucks in the City of Toronto. Anaerobic digesters take materials from food scrap bins and turn it into solid or biogas, a type of biofuel that is naturally produced from the decomposition of organic waste. The city has been working on biogas since 2015, as a way to turn food scraps into something useful. Starting March 2020, the biogas system will be ready for use.

Thanks to a new plant at a solid waste facility, the city is ready. And it’s the first one in North America to do it. The same trucks that pickup waste will be fueled by it. After trucks pickup the trash and bring it to the waste facility, trucks will get filled up with the same biogas from the scrap digester. It’s a true circular system.

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Ten percent of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions come from garbage. This new system will reduce its carbon footprint. And once the trucks are fully switched to biogas, their emissions will be “net neutral.”

Carlyle Khan, director of director of infrastructure and resources management at the City of Toronto, said of the reduced emissions through biogas, “It’s one of the most significant actions the city can take… because we’re not using resources to withdraw and clean fossil fuels, we’re using the waste that’s already produced.”

The biogas will also be injected into the natural gas grid so anyone in the area can use the grid. When it’s full operational, the facility will be able to process 55,000 tonnes of waste, to create 3.2 million cubic meters of biogas. This removes 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Toronto is a member of the C40 group, a membership of mayors that is working on reducing climate change in their cities. Read more One Green Planet news about biogas in Rwanda.

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